Real Estate, Selling Your Home, Valley of the Sun Communities

The Guide to Hiring an Amazing Real Estate Agent in the Phoenix Market Place www.ErinNewmanFineHomes.com 480-466-8193

 

Buy Sell Dice 11-22-17

When you’re buying or selling a home, it’s critical to work with a qualified real estate agent.  Real estate involves big dollars; this is usually your biggest purchases and sales that you will make in your life.  You need to find not just a professional, but an amazing agent and a market expert. So how do you ensure you’re hiring an amazing real estate agent?

There are currently more than two million real estate professionals in North America.1,2 With so many options to choose from, how does a prospective home buyer or seller choose the correct agent? According to the National Association of Realtors®, trust and reputation are the top deciding factors consumers use when hiring an agent.3

But how do you measure trust and reputation … and what criteria can be used to help you make your decision?

In this guide, I have outlined the top attributes that amazing agents possess, as well as the questions you can ask to make sure you’re working with the right market expert to achieve your real estate goals.

5 ATTRIBUTES OF AN AMAZING AGENT

As I mentioned above, not all real estate professionals are the same. And it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the options and information about working with real estate professionals to buy or sell your home. In fact, many real estate markets are over saturated with agents.

To help you understand what makes top agents and market experts stand apart from the competition, following are five key attributes of an amazing agent:

finding-a-home

  1. A Pricing Specialist

If an agent has their real estate license, they know the basics of the transaction process. They know what goes into buying and selling a home. However, there’s a difference between knowing the process and navigating it for an ideal result. This ideal result often means buying or selling a home for the best price.

For buyers, amazing agents have a strong understanding of market trends, competition, and how to make your offer attractive to sellers. They can help you identify and secure a deal to ensure you get the home you want, within your desired budget.  The market changes daily.  Currently we are in a strong Seller’s Market that requires knowledge in being competitive in making offers.  Many buyers are not able to buy the home that they want due to the competition in the market.

If you’re selling a home, market experts have experience pricing homes optimally for the market, and creating pricing plans to minimize the time spent selling the home. This will help you sell for your desired price, and avoid costs like additional mortgage and utility payments.

One advantage I possess as a valley agent is my extensive knowledge. My NAR certifications have added tremendous value to my clients and business practices.  As a Pricing Strategy Advisor designee, I have had extensive training on proper pricing which benefits both buyers and sellers that I work with.

NAR PSA designation
PSA

Takeaway: Whether buying or selling a home, pricing can be tricky. Market experts can help navigate best-possible pricing strategies, and also secure the home you want within your budget.

 

  1. An Effective Time Manager

It’s common to underestimate the amount of time it takes to buy or sell your home. The average real estate agent may not be utilizing the latest tools and technology to make the transaction easier and more cost-effective for their clients. Market experts have tools and strategies at their disposal to minimize the amount of time you spend on the process.

For sellers, market experts can make sure you only deal with qualified buyers (requiring documentation), not the “looky loos” who can waste your time. We also utilize the latest marketing practices to advertise and price your home effectively, ensuring it gets sold quickly for top dollar. Knowing what marketing works is essential to getting a home sold.

When looking to buy a home, inexperienced agents may waste your time by showing you homes that are not a good fit for you. A market expert knows how to prioritize your needs and wants to guide  you to the ideal home within your budget. They also know how to identify possible problems in homes.  This will help save money during the process.

Takeaway: Even a well-intentioned agent may not have the skills, tools or technology to make the experience easy for you. There are lots of hidden activities that may take up unexpected time, and a market expert will save you time and energy.

alarm clock

  1. A Market Insider

While most agents can pull market stats about a neighborhood, community or city, they may not understand important trends or developments that would affect your transaction. These can include the state of the school district, issues with a homeowner association, new businesses in the area, zoning rules or trends in home prices.

Market experts live and breathe local real estate and effectively know the trigger points for buying and selling in this market. We also stay current on effective marketing and negotiation practices, resulting in our track record of success.  Using measurable scientific data is the only way to analyze the market.  Emotion and guessing does not breed success in a transaction.

For sellers, we understand what features of your home and neighborhood are assets in the selling process. And for buyers, we share a deep understanding of market factors, including school and neighborhood quality, crime statistics, speed of sales and more.

As a local native, I thrive on the market and the activity that is current.  My background is in science, so I can look at concrete data and articulate it in an appropriate fashion. Passion and excitement about our beautiful communities is also an attribute that has contributed to my happy client lists.  It takes energy to create success in our local market.

Takeaway: Getting relevant and specific market knowledge can be difficult and time-consuming, which is why many real estate agents don’t have it. Whether you’re buying or selling a home, an experienced real estate agent is often the best source of information about a city, neighborhood, or even street … we’re literally conducting market research every day.

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  1. A Strong Negotiator

Amazing agents truly set themselves apart in their ability to negotiate. Unfortunately, a large portion of agents don’t commit their full-time to increasing this key skill.

Real estate negotiations can be challenging, even for seasoned professionals. It takes skill, experience and knowledge of how to fight for your client’s best interests. While any agent can enter negotiations to buy or sell a home, they may not know the effective strategies to exit those negotiations with the result you want. Protecting a client’s investment is a fuduciary responsibility.

Experienced Realtors focus on negotiation as a key skill. We understand what to do before entering negotiations (establishing the upper hand to set up the best outcome), as well as during the process (when to offer or accept concessions).

Takeaway: Many agents can feel the stress of the negotiation process, and may agree to terms of the buyer/seller. Working with a market expert will help ensure you get the best deal, not just the fastest deal.

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  1. An Effective Closer

Closing a deal fast is often a good thing. For buyers, it means you found the home you wanted quickly. For sellers, it often means you can avoid the added expenses of mortgage and utility payments, and maximize the value of your home sale.

However, an agent solely focused on speed can make decisions that aren’t in your best interests. Top real estate professionals know how to not only achieve your real estate goals quickly, but in the right way to avoid potential pitfalls. Decisions need to be made on what is best for the client; this is essential in all transactions.

Just like negotiations, the paperwork and process of closing a real estate transaction are complicated. And they can be overwhelming for the average agent who hasn’t handled a lot of transactions. Sales contracts, property disclosures, occupancy agreements and even lead paint records need to be executed with precision. Your agent not only needs to be familiar with these, but also stay current on any changes in requirements or regulations.

Market experts have a strong understanding of real estate contracts, timelines, clauses and contingencies within the closing process. In fact, avoiding pitfalls during the closing process is where many sellers find an experienced Realtor is a huge asset.

 

Takeaway: Many agents don’t have a firm understanding of contracts. Because a real estate transaction often involves a significant investment, even a small mistake can mean serious trouble. With that in mind, it’s often best, and most responsible, to work with a true market expert.

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5 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR REAL ESTATE AGENT

So how do you know if you’re working with an amazing agent?

The first step would be to “shop around.” Many people work with the first agent they come across without a firm understanding of their level of experience. It’s always a good idea to interview a number of agents before selecting one. If you’ve gotten referrals from people you trust, then you may only need to interview 2-3 agents.

However, it can be tough to know what to ask in the interview process. Here are some questions that can help you qualify the best agent to help you achieve your real estate goals:

  1. Can you send me some information about yourself?

Look for professionalism and consistency. What are their professional accomplishments? Also, try to identify how they approach their work. Look for a business person who has a strategy and solid support system. If they’re a newer agent, ask about their team’s dynamic and accomplishments.

  1. How long have you been in real estate?

The average Realtor has 10 years of experience4. But while longevity is important, even more telling are the number of transactions they have closed or been involved in. So feel free to also ask: “How many homes have you sold in this area?”  There is a big difference in working with a full-time agent versus a part-time agent.  If real estate is not a full time occupation, you may not be getting what you need when you need it!

The important factor in hiring a great agent is one that knows what the current trends are in the local  real estate.  Market shifts change with agents that are not changing with changing markets and technology.

I am an e-PRO REALTOR® which is a designation that teaches what the current technology trends are to be successful in selling a home.  Technology plays a very large role in real estate today.  I know what technology is essential to create a seamless transaction.

NAR e-PRO designation

e-Pro

  1. What will you do to keep me informed?

Do you want daily or weekly reports from your agent? Will the agent be able to meet these expectations? Determine how much communication you want, and then find an agent who will give you the attention and time you want and deserve.

Communication is essential during real estate transactions.  The client should understand and be able to have questions answered in a timely manner.  Knowing what will happen next in a transaction helps both buyers and sellers understand the process and what is happening.

  1. Can you provide me with further resources I may need?

From market reports and pricing trends to school performance and crime statistics, top agents have resources at their disposal. In addition, market experts have built strong relationships with their extended team of professionals, and can often get expedient service or be able to “cash in a favor” for you should a need arise.

     5.  Seller only: Can you share with me your plan to market my property? Many agents will simply put your home in the MLS and wait for it to sell. An amazing agent should have a detailed plan of how to get your home exposure on social media, to their local networks, and more.

GET STARTED

Now that you’re armed with the The Guide to Hiring an Amazing Real Estate Agent in the Phoenix Market Place  and the Top Questions to ensure you work with the best possible real estate agent, you’re ready to start interviewing agents.

I would love an opportunity to win your business; I can show you how I do business that puts your needs first.  Please  schedule a free consultation with me to find out how true market experts can help you achieve your real estate goals!

  • You can call or text Erin Newman 480-466-8193.
  • You can email ErinNewmanAZ@gmail.com
  • Please visit my website at Erin Newman Fine Homes

Sources:

  1. National Association of REALTORS – https://www.nar.realtor/field-guides/field-guide-to-quick-real-estate-statistics
  2. Financial Post – http://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/mortgages-real-estate/canada-housing-bubble-agents/wcm/b49d4e3a-bd8d-4d1c-9566-bd3d80c8e23a
  3. National Association of REALTORS –https://www.nar.realtor/reports/highlights-from-the-profile-of-home-buyers-andsellers

4.National Association of REALTORS – https://www.nar.realtor/field-guides/field-guide-to-quick-real-estate-statistics

signature 11-16-17

Buying a Home, Real Estate, Selling Your Home, Valley of the Sun Communities

The Great Housing Dilemma: Practical steps to selling your old home and buying a new one.

buy-sell
The steps to “moving up” or “sizing down” can be a daunting and confusing one.  Do you sell first?  Buy first?  When is a good time to talk to a financial institution about your plans?  When does a real estate agent come into the picture?  You may not know where to start.  However, I want to reassure you that a good plan can be your best asset.

Oh, the Great Housing Dilemma.  The thought of it can brings so much anxiety.  Remember that the overall goal is to maximize the selling price of your home and find a new one for a reasonable price.  However, If you sell your current home first, where will you live until you find a new one?  If you buy first, you are stuck with paying two mortgages– that is, if a lender has the ability to offer you a second mortgage.

Options during this transition may involve:

Borrow down payment money for the second house from family or friends. Point out that you need help for only a short period, and offer a competitive interest rate. Give the person making the loan a promissory note, secured by a second mortgage (deed of trust) on your new house. Try to arrange it so that no monthly payments are due until your first house sells. Be warned, however, that depending on your financial situation, institutional mortgage lenders may refuse to approve a loan where the down payment doesn’t come from your own resources.

Get a bridge loan from a financial institution. If you have no other choice, it may be possible to borrow money from a bank or other lender to bridge the period between when you close on your new house and when you get your money from the sale of your old one. This idea is that you take out a short-term loan on your existing house, using it toward the down payment and closing costs on your new house, and repaying it when your first house sells.

Bridge loans can, however, be far more expensive than regular mortgage or home equity loans (higher upfront payments as well as interest rates), and they’re not easy to qualify for — you have to have plenty of equity in your current home and enough income to pay both mortgage payments indefinitely. The requirements all but negate the benefits of the loan!

First things first, evaluate the housing market with a trusted licensed real estate agent like myself.  I can give you current market value for your home to sell as well as advise on what is on the market for your next home.  With the marketing that I can do early on, I may be able to secure a buyer while you are preparing your home for sale.  I currently have an active listing that I “pre-marketed” for 3 months and accumulated interested buyers.  Now the home is actively for sale, we have multiple offers!  Multiple potential buyers who are interested in the listing will sell the home very quickly.

I am happy to do “Seller Net Sheets” that allow you to see estimated values of what you will net.  Talking to a lender will also determine what the lender feels your budget should be.  This allows you to know what is a reasonable next purchase should you need or desire to finance that purchase.  My goal is to get all of the information and planning done upfront so the transaction is seamless when we decide to proceed.

If you still have questions, I’m here to help!  Call me at 480-466-8193.  Erin Newman

Lifestyle, Valley of the Sun Communities

Daydreaming of a Vacation?

Planning the Best Summer Vacation Ever

It’s only early spring but there are plenty of reasons why you should already be thinking of summer.  If you are like lots of families, the beach is what you think of when you plan your getaway.  But there are lots of other places that get people out, too!  Here are some of the best tips to plan a trip to remember.

beach pic

Be an Information Gatherer

Think about what kind of vacation you want.  Touring a new city?  A relaxing beach trip?  A weekend at the lake?  Maybe two weeks on a cruise in Europe?

Whatever your way to un-wind is, start gathering information with reviews and suggestions from friends and family.  Social media is a great place to start!   After all, people you know will give you their most valuable (and honest) opinion.  If you want a family-friendly beach, make sure there are plenty of activities for those rainy days (ie: movie theatres, indoor putt-putt courses, outlet shopping).  If you’re thinking of exploring a new city, where are the best hotels and restaurants?   You get the gist.  It’s all about doing your homework before arriving into town.

Book Early

The best places to stay book up early.  It’s just a fact.  Check out VRBO for renting condos and homes during your stay if you want more than a hotel room.  Even if you don’t book early, you may be able to find great deals for owners who want to rent out their space for weeks that aren’t booked.  If your trip will require flying, check out sites like Skyscanner which will keep tabs and alert you on the cheapest fares.  Make reservations at hot restaurants that tend to book up during peak seasons.  A little planning will go a long way on the wallet and your time!

cruise pic

Join the Party

Many families use vacations as time to be together.  But if you’re up for it, consider inviting along another family (or couple) that enjoys the same activities.  This will not only help with defraying expense by splitting the cost of renting a beach house but you can rotate cooking meals.  If you’re traveling with kids, you can also trade off babysitting with date nights.  The more, the merrier!

Make It Educational

Even if your beach trip was designed for relaxation, explore the local area with a tour with a lighthouse or visit a Civil War fort.  Even a ghost tour will give you a little history of a time long gone.  For kids, there is nothing more valuable than seeing places that they have read in their school textbooks.  Don’t forget to take pictures of them to share with their class in the fall!

Do Something Memorable

One of the best parts of traveling is doing something that you don’t usually do.  Maybe parasail or take dinner cruise to look for dolphins.  This can even be eating food that is beyond your comfort zone (fried octopus, anyone?).  Even if you are staying right here in the U.S. ( or your own state), it doesn’t mean that you can’t explore different tastes or experiences.

Real Estate, Selling Your Home

Ten Little Reasons Why Your Home Is Still On The Market

Several months have passed and the “For Sale” sign is still stuck in your front yard without so much as an offer.  Even if an offer has come along, it was well below your asking price.  What gives?  Maybe the problem is (drum roll, please) you.  Or it may even be your house.  Some of the reasons are things you can fix.  While the others may require creative thinking for you as the seller.  Here are ten reasons why you haven’t sold your home:

for sale

  1. Outdated or unpolished look
    While I would love to say that this is a quick and cost-efficient fix, sometimes it’s simply isn’t.  This requires looking at your house in a new perspective and understanding market demands.  Wood panel walls and green shag carpet clearly give potential buyers an outdated vibe.  Look for ways to modernized your home such as replacing hardware, a fresh coat of paint, and removing furniture or decor that makes your home less than inviting. This includes anything that’s broken like a knob or kitchen sink handle. Buyers will think you haven’t maintained the home like you should.  I have the resources that I can provide that not only evaluate what your home needs to get “market ready” but are able to give the information for licensed contractors who can do the work.
  2. Curb appeal
    I can’t emphasize enough the importance of getting people through your front door by creating curb appeal.  You can market your home with photos on social media with perfectly staged rooms with an inviting feel but if the front yard and driveway look like a mess, you can expect them to do the notorious drive-by.  Mow your lawn.  Rake up leaves.  Hide the garbage cans.  Get rid of broken down cars.  Pressure wash the driveway. Replace the broken shutters.  You get the point.curb appeal
  3. Location, location, location
    Remember how I mentioned how one reason may not be an easy fix?  This is one of those reasons.  The physical location may be not be ideal to certain buyers.  This could include factors such as schools districts and traffic.  They also consider factors such as congestion or small yards.  It may simply be too far away from the nearest grocery store or work.  This may require targeting the attention of buyers who are looking into your specifics of your home.   As a seasoned agent, I can market to the buyer that will want your home.
  4. Research the price tag
    price tagI know you want to get what you believe your house is worth but let’s face it. Sometimes sellers have the tendency of marketing their home at a price that potential buyers don’t believe in paying. If your end goal is to sell your home to move on, then consider a fair market value by researching what similar homes in your area have recently sold.  When home sales are public records, buyers know what your home is worth.  I am an agent who keeps her finger on the “pulse” of the market.  My National Association of Realtors Designation Pricing Strategy Analyst allows me to provide you real time market values.  You need an agent that understands the market.
  5. Summer or Winter?
    Do your homework.  This is one of the key elements before placing your home on the market.  See when the influx of home buying in your area is at its peak.  Is it the summer when kids can easily transition into the year at a new school in the fall?  Or does the colder months contribute to more sales?  This is a great indicator if it’s bad timing for home buying.  My research will help you with the best time to sell.
  6. Advertising
    If you aren’t advertising in the right social outlets, then your home isn’t being viewed at the highest potential by buyers.  Open houses are a great opportunity for people to view your home. My pre-marketing is very successful in getting exposure of your home in the eyes of potential buyers.
  7. Hire a pro
    photographer imageNever take photos of your home for marketing purposes from your iPhone. There.  I said it. You would be surprised at how many people overlook a great home because the photos lacked good angles. If you don’t own a high resolution camera and have a good eye, then hire a professional.  A photography fee will be worth the appeal that professional pictures will lure.
  8. No wiggle room or flexibility with potential buyers
    Unless the offer is completely unreasonable, you can always create room for negotiation.  Rigid home sellers are a turn-off for those who are interested in purchasing your home!  After all, everybody wants to feel like walked away with a deal.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be a pushover but be flexible.  As a top negotiator, I can educate you in this process.
  9. Get out of the house during showings
    house drawingHave you ever been to a car lot to look at their inventory only to be followed and hassled by a salesperson? Annoying, right?  Buyers know what they are looking for and most certainly don’t need a lurking shadow following them into every room to show them the best assets of the home.  Vacate the premise during showings and let the buyers relax and see what all your home has to offer.
    10. A good real estate agent
    You probably already knew that I was going to plug this in but it’s true.  If you don’t have an agent who is doing everything he/she can to effectively market and showcase your home, you are being dis-serviced.  The most common complaints about agents tend to be poor communication, little or no guidance through the preparation and selling process, and ineffective advertising.  You deserve a professional real estate agent who will lead you through the process.  I’m committed to working for you during the sale of your home and make it as seamless as possible. Call or text Erin Newman at 480.466.8193.  

“It has been a great experience to work with Erin in the complex process of selling our home. She has been very flexible to accommodate our needs, and her strategic approach to marketing our home paid off with us receiving an offer in only 3 weeks! She’s guiding us through the closing stages of the sales step-by-step and we look forward to continue to work with Erin in the search for our new home. We gladly recommend Erin to any of our friends that are in need of a real estate agent.”
– Franzis S.

“Erin put all her effort into selling our house. She immediately did 3 straight weekends of open houses. She helped me stage [my home] which I needed so much help with. She followed up with every guest even the ones that didn’t leave their phone number.  That one person ended up giving us an offer that is now in escrow! If she had not followed up with every guest,  we may not have received this offer!”
Katherine S.

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